Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists identify molecular basis for DNA breakage, a hallmark of cancer cells

Date:
August 29, 2011
Source:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
Scientists have identified the molecular basis for DNA breakage, a hallmark of cancer cells.

This is Prof. Batsheva Kerem (left) with her doctoral student Efrat Ozeri-Galai.
Credit: The Hebrew University of Jeruaslem

Scientists from the Hebrew University have identified the molecular basis for DNA breakage, a hallmark of cancer cells. The findings of this research have just been published in the journal Molecular Cell.

Related Articles


The DNA encodes the entire genetic information required for building the proteins of the cell. Hence, DNA breaks disrupt the proteins and lead to changes in the cell function. These changes can lead to defects in the control of cellular proliferation resulting in cancer development.

Using cutting edge technologies, researchers Prof. Batsheva Kerem and doctoral student Efrat Ozeri-Galai, of the Alexander Silverman Institute of Life Sciences in the Faculty of Science were able to characterize for the first time the DNA regions which are the most sensitive regions to breakage in early stages of cancer development. This is a breakthrough in our understanding of the effect of the DNA sequence and structure on its replication and stability.

"A hallmark of most human cancers is accumulation of damage in the DNA, which drives cancer development," says Prof. Kerem. "In the early stages of cancer development, the cells are forced to proliferate. In each cycle of proliferation the DNA is replicated to ensure that the daughter cells have a full DNA. However, in these early stages the conditions for DNA replication are perturbed, leading to DNA breaks, which occur specifically in regions defined as 'fragile sites'."

In this research Prof. Kerem and Ozeri-Galai used a sophisticated new methodology which enables the study of single DNA molecules, in order to study the basis for the specific sensitivity of the fragile sites. The findings are highly important since they shed new light on the DNA features and on the regulation of DNA replication along the first regions that break in cancer development.

The results show that along the fragile region there are sites that slow the DNA replication and even stop it. In order to allow completion of the DNA replication the cells activate already under normal conditions mechanisms that are usually used under stress. As a result, under conditions of replication stress, such as in early cancer development stages, the cell has no more tools to overcome the stress, and the DNA breaks.

The results of this study reveal the molecular mechanism that promotes cancer development. Currently, different studies focus on the very early stages of cancer development aiming to identify the events leading to cancer on the one hand and on their inhibition, on the other. The result of the current research identified for the first time DNA features that regulate DNA replication along the fragile sites, in early stages of cancer development. In the future, these findings could lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches to restrain and/or treat cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Efrat Ozeri-Galai, Ronald Lebofsky, Ayelet Rahat, AssafC. Bester, Aaron Bensimon, Batsheva Kerem. Failure of Origin Activation in Response to Fork Stalling Leads to Chromosomal Instability at Fragile Sites. Molecular Cell, 2011; 43 (1): 122 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.05.019

Cite This Page:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Scientists identify molecular basis for DNA breakage, a hallmark of cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719094023.htm>.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2011, August 29). Scientists identify molecular basis for DNA breakage, a hallmark of cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719094023.htm
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Scientists identify molecular basis for DNA breakage, a hallmark of cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719094023.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins